New England Crimebake

The New England Crimebake Conference was held, appropriately enough, in Dedham, Massachusetts. The guest of honor was Harlan Coben, who made an interesting observation. He said that he never met a really sucessful author who was a jerk. (Well actually, he used a synonym for jerk, but you get the idea.) If this is true, it is apparently the only occupation where this occurs.
Anyway, his novel Tell No One has been made into a movie by a French film company. Hollywood had an interest, but he demurred because of “artistic differences”. The book concerns a man whose wife died and much of the background consists of how crushed he is and how much he misses her. Hollywood wanted to “improve” the story by giving the hero a girlfriend!
The rest of the conference was interesting as well. My agent, Janet Reid of Fineprint Literary was on a panel of agents and pretty much stole the show. when someone asked her the best way to get her to look favorably on his query letter, her answer was to include a bottle of scotch. Whenever I mentioned that she was my agent I became an instant minor celebrity.
Another highlight was a presentation by the “Poison lady” on naturally occurring poisons on common plants. All I can say is don’t walk around on your lawn in bare feet!

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